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Alice Meynell (Элис Мейнелл)

“Rivers Unknown to Song”

                James Thomson

Wide waters in the waste; or, out of reach,
    Rough Alpine falls where late a glacier hung;
Or rivers groping for the alien beach,
    Through continents, unsung.

Nay, not these nameless, these remote, alone;
    But all the streams from all the watersheds—
Peneus, Danube, Nile—are the unknown.
    Young in their ancient beds.

Man has no tale for them. O travellers swift
    From secrets to oblivion! Waters wild
That pass in act to bend a flower, or lift
    The bright limbs of a child!

For they are new, they are fresh; there's no surprise
    Like theirs on earth. O strange for evermore!
This moment's Tiber with his shining eyes
    Never saw Rome before.

Man has no word for their eternity—
    Rhine, Avon, Arno, younglings, youth uncrowned:
Ignorant, innocent, instantaneous, free,
    Unwelcomed, unrenowned.

Alice Meynell's other poems:
  1. The Roaring Frost
  2. To O——, of Her Dark Eyes
  3. Free Will
  4. Singers to Come
  5. To Sylvia

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